Omega-3 fatty acids are "good fats" that are essential for optimal health. Like vitamins and minerals, omega-3 must be provided by our diet as it is not produced by our bodies. EPA and DHA are the active forms of omega-3 required by the body to perform vital functions.
Omega-3 (EPA & DHA) function in the body
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Reduces inflammation
- Supports mental focus & cognitive function
- Supports positive mood & emotional well-being
- Promotes brain, eye, & nervous system health
- Supports healthy immune system function
- Enhances appearance of skin and hair
- Promotes optimal fat metabolism
A number of dietary habits, such as the widespread use of vegetable cooking oils (omega-6), industrial milling, and the decreased consumption of fish (omega-3), have contributed to an omega-3 deficiency, or imbalance, in the diets of many North Americans. As compared to the ancestral diet of Neo-Palaeolithic humans, omega-3 consumption has dropped 20 fold from a daily intake of 3.0 grams down to a meager 0.15 grams. At the same time omega-6 consumption has increased dramatically, far exceeding the recommended daily intake.
A decreased amount of omega-3 relative to omega-6 in the diet results in an increased risk of degenerative disease. Experts generally advise that we consume more omega-3 and less omega-6.